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It May Not Be ADHD

Shiro Perera Torquato is a PhD and a licensed clinical psychologist who says she's discovering that some children's ADHD is actually a sensory integration dysfunction. This little-known dysfunction causes both children and adults to be hypersensitive to various sensory experiences.
"'Most people haven't heard about it,' Torquato said, including teachers and pediatricians, even though the disorder was first identified many years ago."
Torquato sites the example of a 15-year old girl whose hypersensitivity to fluorescent lights was causing her to act up at school. Symptoms can look very similar to ADHD, which is why the two are sometimes confused.

Read more from the Simi Valley Acorn.

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Adults Can Use ADD/ADHD to Their Benefit

Tellman Knudson, CEO of Overcome Everything, Inc., believes that adults with ADD or ADHD can learn to use those traits to their benefit. It's an opinion that increasing in popularity.

"People who suffer from attention deficit traits do have the unbelievable capacity to become hyper-focused on things that they find interesting."

Higher intelligence is also a common trait among adults with ADD or ADHD. Knudson and others believe hyper-focus can be achieved by learning how to effectively remove environmental and other distraction.

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Health Canada Revising Drug Information

Health Canada, in response to an in-depth study of the side effects caused by ADHD drugs, is revising patient information for these drugs. Revisions will include a warning as to possible psychiatric side effects such as "rare reports of agitation and hallucinations in children."

Drugs affected by the update include Adderall, Ritalin, Biphentin, and more.

Read the full article here: http://www.pharma-lexicon.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=52622.

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Children and Teens Need to Better Understand Mental Illness

An online study by Harris Interactive reveals that fewer young people understand mental illnesses than physical ones. This lack of understanding seems to lead to social stigmas. The study of over 1300 youth included questions about a fictional child, Michael, who has depression.
"More youth indicate that Michael...would be made fun of...Fewer youth say that students at their schools would invite Michael...to parties or outings."
Though students seemed more likely to shun "Michael" if he suffered from depression as opposed to ADHD, they were overall more likely to shun him due to a mental illness than a physical one.

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Exposure to Smoking and Lead Increase Risk

A study released on Monday links ADHD with prenatal exposure to cigarette smoke and childhood exposures to lead. The study was lead by researchers at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and analyzed data gathered on over 4,500 children.

"The researchers linked blood lead concentrations of 2 micrograms per deciliter
or greater to an increased risk of ADHD... Federal standards consider blood lead
levels below 10 micrograms per deciliter to be safe."
The showed that smoke and lead exposure combined accounted for 480,000 ADHD cases.

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ADHD Related to Trauma?

Echo Malibu Youth Treatment Center has made a rather unusual discovery. Many of the young people who come to them with ADHD have suffered some sort of past trauma. As the trauma is treated, their ADHD symptoms improve.
"According to Dr. Jeff Nalin, a Clinical Psychologist and Co-Founder of ECHO Malibu Youth Treatment Center, '...The syndrome of behaviors that make up the diagnoses called ADD and ADHD are really primitive defense mechanisms related to these traumas.'"
The belief is that, as the past traumas are uncovered, confronted, and the child begins to heal from them, the need to "remain defended" decreases significantly, as do the ADD or ADHD behaviors.

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Ty Pennington to join ADHD Experts on Call for Live Webcast

On September 20th, Shire Pharmaceuticals, Inc. will host "ADHD Experts on Call". The call-in program will run from 8am to midnight and include a one hour webcast during which celebrity designer Ty Pennington from "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" will share his experiences as a child growing up with ADHD.
"I know what it's like to grow up with ADHD and how important it is for parents, caregivers, and patient to have access to accurate information," said Ty...
Though ADHD Experts on Call can't provide specific medical information, it can offer helpful advice on how to recognize symptoms of ADHD, how parents and teachers can effectively talk to each other about a child with ADHD, common misconceptions and more.

Boarding schools for children with ADHD can help in ways that public schools can't. Learn more about Cedars Academy and Stone Mountain School.

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ADHD Can Be Overcome

The Albuquerque Tribune recently ran a story about Zach Tierney, a young man who is successfully overcoming ADHD. His story gives hope to those who have ADHD, and to their friends and family. Tierney gives evidence that ADHD, though it can make life difficult, doesn't have to be debilitating.

"It's easy to understand why victory is sweet for Tierney these days. The high school All-American (soccer) defender has earned a starting spot in his first year the with (University of New Mexico) Lobos."

Though he still struggles with homework and sometimes even basic paperwork, Tierney is learning to apply the focus he's learned on the soccer field to all the other aspects of his life.

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Understanding ADHD and the Creative Child

Colette Bouchez of WebMD recently wrote an article outlining the similarities between ADHD and creativity. Many of the traits that lead to an ADHD diagnosis - traits such as lack of attention, daydreaming, an abundance of energy, and impulsive behavior - are also attributed to high levels of creativity and intelligence.
"[These] childhood behaviors... were exhibited by some of the brightest, most creative minds of our time: architect Frank Lloyd Wright, writers Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Virginia Woolf, and inventors Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla."
Because many educational systems expect children to conform to certain standards, children who don't fit are viewed as dysfunctional. In fact, the more rigid the school system, the more often children are diagnosed with ADHD. The article goes on to suggest ways of determining whether your child is highly creative or has ADHD, or possibly a combination. It also suggests ways to effectively work with and help both ADHD and highly creative children.

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Behavior Modification for ADHD Children

Behavior modification is often suggested to parents of children with ADHD. But setting up a behavior modification program can be an overwhelming task for an already overwhelmed parent. About.com's Eileen Bailey offers some suggestions and advice to setting up a program that works.

"To set up a program for your child takes careful planning, commitment, patience, and working together with all caretakers."

Interestingly, Eileen's first suggestion is to evaluate your relationship with your child and make sure its healthy. "Tensions that have built up over time," she says, "can cause any new program to fail." She suggests taking necessary steps to repair your relationship with your child and dissolve any tension or hurt feelings.

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Who Can Appropriately Diagnose Your Child?

The National Institute of Mental Heath has a section on ADHD in which they discuss who can diagnose what with regards to ADHD.
"Because children mature at different rates and are very different in personality, temperament, and energy levels, it's useful to get an expert's opinion of whether the [hyperactive] behavior is appropriate for the child's age."
This section of their web site goes on to give specific information regarding which medical professionals can diagnose, which can prescribe medication, and which can offer counseling or training.

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